Photo - Alvin Kiew, Director of Sales & Marketing, SEA Plantronics.
Audio communications specialist Plantronics has announced in Malaysia a new family of contact centre headsets and digital processing solutions for customer service centres and offices.
Plantronics Southeast Asia sales & marketing director Alvin Kiew said the new EncorePro headsets offered enhanced noise-cancelling and comfort while the next-generation DA Series USB digital audio processors "helped to deliver a more complete audio experience by providing context for every call."
Smart phones and self-service have shifted the balance of power in the customer service centre, said Kiew. "When a customer reaches a CSR [customer service representative], they have likely attempted self-service and have much more information than the agent. In these situations, customers want to reach someone immediately and have the issue resolved quickly."
"As the customer is more likely to be calling from a mobile with variable audio quality, the agent is under pressure to perform," he said.
The series includes the following models: EncorePro 510/520 (dedicated over-the-head), EncorePro 530 (over-the-ear) and EncorePro 540 (convertible). All models support wideband audio.
The digital audio processors include user controls based on Plantronics SoundGuard digital technology. CSRs protected from sounds above 118 dBA, but anti-startle protection detects and eliminates sudden increase in sound and Time Weighted Average (TWA) measurement, which manages average daily sound exposure for CSRs.
Kiew said the new devices were smart with support by Plantronics Hub, and that each contained firmware that can generate notifications based on hardware state changes. Some models can also generate notifications based on acoustic events or other telemetry that is important to the service centre, but has been previously unavailable.
This combination of Plantronics EncorePro 500 Series, Plantronics digital audio adapters, and Plantronics Hub means that events and metrics during the interaction with the customer are actionable in real-time through the API and made available through an SDK to call routing systems and third party applications.
The also delivered potential for new efficiencies such as automation of agent status updates, screen-locking for security when a headset is disconnected, dashboard management of headset inventory and warranty status, tracking of agent use of physical call controls and supervisor alerts to conversational conflict between agent and caller. Alliance partner integrations with vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence and additional third-party software application vendors are expected to enter market during 2015.
Frost & Sullivan principal analyst in customer contact, Nancy Jamison, said: "This launch covers everyone - usability and personal comfort for the agent, agent monitoring of events, ordering, budgeting, and inventory tracking for the supervisor. Particularly intriguing is the enablement of event tracking for things such as agent status when the headset is disconnected allowing for actions to occur such as screen locking."
The new EncorePro 540 (convertible) and Encore 530 (over-the-ear) models are now available. EncorePro 510/520 (dedicated over-the-head monaural and binaural models) will be available in both noise-cancelling and voice tube versions in December. The DA-80 USB Digital Audio Processor will ship in December with additional models following a short-time later.
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